This post is sponsored by Dream. While I have been compensated for this post, all opinions are, as always, my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Garlic + Zest!
Panna Cotta is a silky, creamy, custardy revelation! Usually made from milk and cream with a little sugar and gelatin to give it that soft jiggly texture. It’s not as firm as regular gelatin desserts that you can swish and squish between your teeth (oh, is that just me?) No, panna cotta barely holds its shape until it hits your tongue, where it promptly dissolves into a barely-there-bliss. Am I overselling? Seriously, this stuff ROCKS!
When I was approached by the makers of Dream Ultimate Almond, to create a dish using one of their Dream Ultimate Almond products, I immediately thought of panna cotta. Well, I may have also thought of ice cream and curry — but I decided on panna cotta.
I received a selection of three types of Dream Ultimate Almond Beverages, Original , Vanilla, and Unsweetened. These beverages have 4x more California almonds which gives it 5 grams of plant based protein in every serving, making it much richer and thicker than its regular counterpart. They sent me the shelf stable variety (but it’s also available in the refrigerated section) and when I poured it into my measuring cup, it was thick like buttermilk. I whisked it and ran it through a fine mesh sieve, to make sure I’d have an ultra smooth custard.
Making the panna cotta took about 10 minutes (and that’s because I was taking pictures for 5 of those minutes). Just sprinkle the gelatin over the liquid and let it bloom. Then heat over a medium low heat, just until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
Add the sugar and stir over that same heat until the sugar is dissolved, then remove and add the amaretto and coffee liqueur. Pour the mixture into prepared ramekins and refrigerate until set. That’s it. Simple.
And the result, is sublime! Creamy, luscious, not overly sweet with a definite nod to that famous Toasted Almond Cocktail! I like mine with a sprinkle of crunchy toasted nuts, a drizzle of amaretto and fresh raspberries. Oh-ma-Gawd!
I used the Unsweetened variety of Dream Ultimate Almond for this panna cotta, but after tasting the Original and Vanilla, I think they would work well in this recipe too. Click on this link to a money-saving coupon good for Dream Ultimate Almond currently available at select Whole Foods and find it soon at Sprouts Farmers Markets.
Dairy Free Toasted Almond Panna Cotta
- 3 cups Dream Ultimate Almond Beverage unsweetened
- 2 1/2 teaspoons gelatin - this is a little more than one envelope
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons DiSaranno or other amaretto flavored liquor
- 2 tablespoons Kahlua - or other coffee flavored liquor
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds lightly toasted
- drizzle of amaretto for each serving
- fresh raspberries
Shake the almond beverage well before opening. Pour into a medium bowl or measuring cup. If the liquid looks lumpy, whisk it smooth, then run it through a fine mesh sieve to remove any lumps. Transfer to a medium saucepan. Sprinkle the gelatin over the liquid and set aside for a few minutes until the gelatin starts to bloom.
Place the saucepan over medium low heat and stir until the gelatin dissolves completely, but do not heat the beverage to the point where it starts to smoke or boil -- that will de-activate the gelatin. To check that the gelatin is dissolved, dip your spoon into the liquid and look at the back of it for telltale clear grains -- if they're there, it's not fully dissolved.
After the gelatin has dissolved, add the sugar and stir until it's completely dissolved.
Stir in the amaretto and coffee liquors.
Spray 4 ounce ramekins with vegetable spray. Use a paper towel to wipe the spray evenly around the ramekin removing any excess and just leaving a fine film.
Divide the panna cotta mixture evenly among the ramekins and refrigerate until set -- At least two hours and up to overnight.
You can serve directly in the ramekins or for a more dramatic effect, add warm water to a bowl and hold the body of the ramekin in the water, not quite to the rim, for a few seconds. Run a very thin knife blade around the top edge of the panna cotta and place a plate upside down on top of the ramekin. Invert the panna cotta onto the plate.
Drizzle about one teaspoon of amaretto over each panna cotta. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and raspberries. Serve.